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  • Dear Readers!

    There have been waste management laws in Germany for over 40 years now. At least once a decade, politicians have made some groundbreaking decisions. The “Deponieverordnung” (Landfill Ordinance), the separate kerbside collection system for waste packaging and the “TaSi”, which bans certain materials being taken to landfill and has been acting as a role model for many countries, are all examples of how they have succeeded in systematically moving the country’s waste management sector away from landfills towards more recycling. These courageous decisions, which more often than not involve large investments, have primarily been implemented by private sector businesses but also by municipal waste management companies. We have reached that crossroads again. Germany has to decide which direction it wishes to move in and just how sustainable it wishes to become. The country’s upper house, the Bundesrat, has instructed the Government to submit a draft bill for a new recyclables law by the end of the year, presenting a unique opportunity for them to catapult German recycling activities into a completely new dimension. It is a well-known fact that waste is a source of raw materials. According to a recent INFA study, a further 95kg of recyclable materials could be collected per person per year. The signals coming from the Ministry of the Environment, however, are not particularly encouraging. Here, they are obviously thinking of limiting this new law to waste packaging and wastes made of similar materials. When recycling bins were first introduced in Germany, they were used exclusively for collecting old sales packaging. The decision to allow them to also be used for waste made of similar materials was made a while ago now and it is estimated that this move would only increase the amount of recyclables collected by an additional 5kg per person per year. At REMONDIS, we believe even this figure to be illusory as our experience from collecting, sorting and recycling the contents of the recycling bins has shown that many people are already throwing wastes made of similar materials to packaging into the bin – an intelligent move even if they are not supposed to do this. If politicians limit the new law to just this area, then it will, for the most part, be completely ineffective. We are, therefore, calling on politicians to act as visionaries and be courageous. Make the most of this unique opportunity and set ambitious collection and recycling rates. This is the only way to ensure Germany has a secure supply of raw materials and that everything possible is done to prevent climate change.

    Developing sustainability in the water and recycling sectors is just beginning in Asia. Materials recycling has been neglected in this region for far too long and has hardly been able to keep up with the exponential growth on the continent. Singapore is now looking to do more in this area. One of the latest projects of the country’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) involves a new facility to process slag from waste incineration plants and recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals at the same time. REMEX is the company responsible for building and operating it. Once again, Singapore is forging ahead and acting as a role model for other densely populated regions in Asia.

    Back in Germany, REMONDIS continues to extend its successful cooperation work with local authorities. The recently founded AWIGO Logistik GmbH is the company’s latest joint venture – a public private partnership between the administrative district of Osnabrück and REMONDIS’ regional company, REMONDIS Nord.

    As always, I hope you enjoy reading about these and the many other topics in this latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell.


    Max Köttgen 

600 young people begin their apprenticeship course

On your marks, get set, go! The new apprentices have successfully finished school and are now setting off along a completely new path. Whether it be as an industrial clerk, chemical technician, IT specialist, gardener, chemical laboratory technician or professional truck driver, more than 600 young people joined REMONDIS and its sister companies, Rhenus and SARIA, on 01 August to begin their apprenticeship and learn about one of the many professions on offer – and are looking forward to the next few years with anticipation and excitement.

REMONDIS' advantages: its international and sustainable activities

One thing is clear: the water and recycling sector has established itself as one of the industries of the future and offers excellent career prospects. Sustainability, raw material shortages, resource conservation and climate change are not only popular subjects in the media but also have a considerable impact on business processes and the lives of individuals. And it is precisely these subjects that make up REMONDIS’ core business. “I am really pleased to be able to work at a company whose business is aimed at improving living conditions on our planet. That makes me feel good,” said Cathrin Berlinghoff, who is doing an apprenticeship to become an industrial clerk and a university course at the same time at the company’s head office in Lünen. “I also felt it was important to do an apprenticeship in a company that operates on the international market. REMONDIS is one of the world’s largest and most successful water and recycling companies. Perhaps, one day, I’ll be given the opportunity to work abroad,” she continued with a smile on her face.

A wide range of courses

However, REMONDIS does not only offer apprenticeship courses in commercial professions. Germany’s leading recycling and water business also trains apprentices to enter environmental technology professions (e.g. recycling and waste management specialists), logistics professions (e.g. professional truck drivers), industrial professions (e.g. industrial mechanics) and IT professions (e.g. IT specialists for applications development or systems integration). “As the REMONDIS Group provides such a wide range of services, we are able to offer a total of 50 different apprenticeship courses. Priority here is always put on the quality of the training,” explained Anika Dirkmann, apprenticeship manager at REMONDIS. “We’re really pleased that we have been able to once again increase the number of apprentices we have taken on compared to last year. Thanks to our successful apprenticeship programme, we are actively counteracting the shortage of specialists caused by demographic change,” added Anika Dirkmann. A win-win situation is, therefore, created right from the very start both for those just starting their career as well as for REMONDIS. 

An ideal environment

The new apprentices have now left their starting blocks and are on their way to becoming qualified specialists. For the most part, it will be up to them themselves how they cross over the finishing line. They are, however, in an excellent environment which will very much help them on their way. 

Two out of the 600: our apprentices Andre Grewe and Cathrin Berlinghoff

  • Andre Grewe is currently in the second year of his apprenticeship and is training to become an IT specialist for systems integration

  • Cathrin Berlinghoff, who is doing an apprenticeship and a university course at the same time, is currently learning all about sales and marke­ting applications

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